SPSS is a statistical software package that many people in the social sciences use for their courses. Some class that involve SPSS are hard as heck. Other courses are deceptively easy but it packs a punch. And then you have courses which are pretty straight forward but there is a lot of homework per session. I am going to talk about the easy courses with a lot of homework. Right off the bat, I will tell you that an easy course with a lot work is hard to come by so embrace it. Usually, the assignment(s) will ask a series of questions about a file in SPSS. A lot of the questions will require a knowledge of generating frequencies, percents, Chi-Squares, and cross-tabulations. You want to survive an applied stats course with SPSS? Learn the tab buttons at the top of SPSS. Your ‘ANALYZE’ button is your best friend. Your second best friend(s) is the ‘Frequency’ and ‘Cross-tab’ button under analyze. Know those features well if you want to answer questions about percentages, frequencies, and other descriptive statistics. But the one understated feature of SPSS, is the variable view. When you open up a SPSS file (with a SAV extension, ie amy.sav), you will see the data view. All the columns and rows that of your data can be seen upon opening up a file. BUT if you want to view what each variable means – you need to look at the variable description in the variable view. These are just a few brief tidbits of information for those of you who are lost.
-Moore to follow -Amy